Mini-Goa would be too convenient a term to describe Gokarna with. This town on Karnataka’s Arabian Sea coast has its own unique legacy and its beaches are becoming a not-so-well-kept secret, attracting backpackers and tourists from all over the world. Many travellers do not like the compromise of cabs and buses and are instead renting self drive cars. The 500-km route between Bangalore and Gokarna is a scenic one, cutting through captivating and wild landscapes.
Beaches and Trekking
The beaches of Gokarna are surrounded by hillocks, and a hike up one of these will reward the climber with stunning panoramic views. Kudle Beach enjoys a quaint setting and is more tourist-oriented compared to the main Gokarna beach – which caters to more pilgrims. From Kudle, one can climb across one of the hills and reach Ohm Beach, the most popular beach in Gokarna. Trekking from one beach to another is quite a fun activity in Gokarna. One of the easier routes is the one from Ohm Beach to the Half-moon beach, which is shaped like a lagoon. The Paradise Beach is the furthest from the town. Being the least commercialized, it is a perfect stage for those who yearn some solitude or are just looking for a tranquil space.
Before it became a popular seaside resort town, Gokarna was always an important centre of pilgrimage. Away from the beaches, the town itself is steeped in history. The Mahabaleshwar temple is one of the oldest and most revered religious sites in the region, and one will be mesmerized by the architecture and detail of the place. Some of the other temples in the town include Ganapati temple and Aadi Gokarneshwara Temple.
Walking around the town is another leisurely activity one can indulge in. There are many surprises in store in the shops and eateries of these markets.
Foodies would enjoy a trip to Gokarna. Over the years, the menus available here have expanded from delicious local fare to a wide spectrum of pan-national and global dishes. One can indulge in pasta and Israeli cuisine, along with contemporary Indian thalis. When it comes to ambience, nothing can beat dining on the shore while looking at the waves. Namaste Cafe is an Ohm Beach icon, at least one meal here is recommended.
Those who seek an adrenaline rush can indulge in some water sports on the warm Arabian Sea waters. Parasailing, snorkelling and kayaking are some of the options. Shutterbugs also love Gokarna. The dynamic landscape, rocky hills juxtaposed with the expansive blue sheen of the sea provide for some very enigmatic settings. Sunset watches never get old.
Driving Around Gokarna
The advantage of having an own set of wheels in Gokarna is that one can explore the surrounding towns and villages. Visitors can head over to Murudeshwar, a giant Shiva statue that looms with the azure backdrop of the Arabian Sea behind. Other locations that can be visited include Dandeli and Karwar.
Those who to rent a car in Bangalore for this coastal escapade can choose Zoomcar, which offers a large range of vehicles at very affordable prices. The sunny shores of the Arabian Sea beckon, it is time to start packing those bags.
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